US 2871053 A
Description (OCR text may contain errors)
Jan. 27, 1959 o. P. RICHTER 2,871,053
PNEUMATIC HOLDING DEVICE Filed March 14, 1956 2 Sheets-Sheet 1 33 2a 5044 41 40 c, c, 35 32 36 as so 51 l 5O 44 41 4O 32 31 C C 49 51 INVENTOR.
- M OTTO P. RICHTER ATTORNEY Jan. 27, 1959 I 0'. P. RICHTER 2,871,053
PNEUMATIC HOLDING DEVICE Filed March 14, 1956 v 2 Sheets-Sheet 2 INVENTOR. OTTO P. RICHTER ATTORNEY United States Patent" PNEUMATIC HULDING DEVICE Gite P. Richter, Hollis, N. Y.
Application March 14, 1956, Serial No. 571,517
Claims. (Cl. 294-64) This invention concerns a pneumatic holder and particularly concerns a holding device for measuring instruments, tools and the like on smooth, flat surfaces.
The holding device according to the present invention is adapted for supporting single or multiple upright posts, hollow columns, angle bars and plates, parallel bars, etc., in a fixed position on a smooth flat surface of metal, stone, wood, and so on. Since the device operates pneumatically it avoids the objectional features of magnetic holding devices of known types. Such magnetic devices are only adapted for use on steel surfaces against which the magnets are e'ifective. They cannot be used on any non-magnetic surface. When in use such magnetic holding devices shed magnetic particles when they are moved over or removed from a steel work surface. This is very objectionable in highly critical measuring operations.
The holding device may be caused to adhere to a horizontal, vertical or inclined fiat surface. The device may be supported in a horizontal, vertical, or inclined position. The device may even be attached in an up-side down position to a flat supporting surface. In one such use the device serves as a support for non-magnetic articles to be ground in a surface grinder.
It is therefore a principal object of the present invention to provide a pneumatic holding device for a tool, or gauge, or for articles being Worked upon.
It is a further object to provide a manually operated pneumatic holding device which operates by suction to adhere to a smooth fiat surface.
It is a further object to provide a pneumatic holding device provided with one or more resilient sealing rings to retain the suction by'which the device adheres to aflat surface.
It is a further object to provide apneumatic holding device having a flat base with a cavity containing a suction diaphragm, and with one or more suction grooves surrounding the cavity.
Other and further objects and advantages of the inVen-" tion will become'readily apparent from the following description taken together with the drawings, wherein:
Fig. l is an elevational View of a tool or gauge supporting device embodying the invention.
Fig. 2 is a longitudinal sectional view taken on lines 2--2 of Fig. 1.
Fig. 3 is a view corresponding to Fig. 2 ofa portion of the device with members in a released condition.
Fig. 3A is a perspective view of a portion of the operating handle and 'a shaft used in the device.
- an end view of the shaft.
Fig. 3B is- Figs. 10 and 11 are vertical sectional views of further modifications of the invention.
Figs. 12A and 12B are vertical sectional views of another modificationqof the invention showing the device in both adhering and noneadhering conditions. a
The holding device shown in Fig. lhas a base 20 which may bean upright tapering member. The base may be circular, square, oval, rectangular, or have any other suitable shape, circumferentially. A post 21 is supported in a fixed position centrally on the 'base 20. A handle 22 is provided for manually operating'the device. The handle has an enlarged weighted ball end 23. The handle is attached to a shaft-'24 which-isbetter shown in Fig. 2'along with details of internal-construction of'the device. The device is adapted for adherence by suction to the fiat smooth surface T of any type of support. While the supporting surface T is shown horizontal, this is not essential to the operation of the'device since the device will adheretovertical and inclined flat surfaces also.
In Fig. 2, the base 20 is shown as a hollow member beneath the post 21. In the cavity '25 thereof is secured a base block 26. The block has a lower fiat surface which rests on the flat surface T. Base '20 has a flange 27 which also has a fiat surface bearing on-the surface 'T. A threaded flange 28 serves as a convenient means of attaching the base "block 26 to the base 20 if the block is circular. if the block is square, oval, rectangular or has some other shape it may be secured in-or to the base 20 by screws or other suitable means. If the block 26 has a threaded flange'it may be screwed into a threaded recess in the base 20. Centrally disposed in the base 26 is a short shaft 29. This shaft has an aperture in which is disposed the eccentric cylindrical extension 30 of shaft 24. At the lowerend of shaft 29 'is' secured by screw 33 a metal disk or diaphragm and a stifiiy resilient rubber disk or membrane 32. The several disks are disposed in a cylindrical recess-0r cavity in the base block. This recess has a wall 36 and a top wall 42. A corrugated circular annular bellows member 34 insures a complete air seal between the shaft 29 and the recess since it is attached between the shaft 29 and the wall 42. A similar bellows member or-an annular resilient rubber ring '35 forms an effective air seal between disk 31 and the wall 36 of the The wall 36 is undercut to 'for'm a recess 38 having a flat upper annular wall and a circular corner rim 37. The disk or membrane 32 extends into this recess. The diameter of membrane 32 is slightly less than the greater'diameter of the recess 38. The margin of the membrane firmly and snugly abuts the'fiat upper wall of the recess 38 when the disk is in unstressed condition as shown in Fig.3. The. disks'31'and 32 define a closed cavity or chamber C with wall 36. From this cavity a bore '40 in block 26 leads to an endless groove 41 at the bottom of the block. This groove may be circular, square, oval, rectangular or have any other shape circumferentially. The groove 41 surounds the central recess in the block. Anotherclosed space, chamber, or cavity C is defined between disk 31, the top wall 42, and wall 36.
'A bore 43 provides a passage leading from cavity C to an endless groove 44 disposed near and surrounding groove 41. A valve 46 having a cap 46' is mounted in the top of the block andopens into cavity C This valve has a central channel normally held closed by a ball 47 biased by a spring 48. A resilient endless rubber ring 49 is disposed in'the groove 44. This ringmay be U-shaped in cross section as shown-on an enlarged scale in Fig. 6. Other posible shapes for the endless ring are the hollow tube 49' of'Fig. 7 or the solid circular ring 49" with round cross section shown in Fig. 5. Another endless groove 50 in the base of the block surrounds groove 44. An endless resilient ring; 51 is disposed in this groove also. Abore 52 defines a passage extending-from groove 50 through the block 26-and flange 27 to the outside atmosphere. Another bore 55 extends through the wall vof base20 so thatcavity 25 is maintained at atmospheric pressure. A cavity CR is defined between surface T and the membrane 32. The several endless rings 49 and 51 .have thin flexible rubber walls which are cemented to the sides of' the grooves. The'sides ofthe grooves taper downwardly to form small'narrow endless openings at the bottoms thereof. When-in an-untensioned conditionxthe bottoms of the sealing rings are elevated above the bottoms of the groovesthe distance D-as best shown in Figs. 5, 6, and 7. This distance is about one sixteenth of an inch. .This feature isimportantbecause it enables-the device to be lifted and moved freelyoversurface T. If
- the rings were initially flush-with surface'T this freedom of movementvwould notbe possible. The-cavities of chambers C .C and C areall initially at atmospheric pressure.
The. operation of the device will now be described. Initially the shaft29 isin a loweredposition as shown in Fig. 3. The membrane 32 iss'ubstantially'flat and its upper surface is firmly juxtaposed to the upper wall of recess 38 so that cavity C occupies a minimum'volume.
.The bottoms of the-rings 49'and 51 are located the distance D above surface T. The handle 22 may have a marking on it. toindicate the-device is in non-adhering condition. Nowwhen the handle-22 is turned. shaft 24 also turns and lifts shaft 29 which causes the membrane 32 to assume thegenerally conical configuration shown in Fig. 2. The rim.of the membrane-32 now abuts surface T since it oivotson the circular rim 37 of recess 38.
' As'the shaft 29 .is lifted', the closed chamber C under -rnembrane 32 is. enlarged so thatthe air-pressure therein drops causing the base-20 to be presseddown and adhere to surface T bv the pressure of the atmosnhere'thereon. While the shaft 29 is 'being lifted,-'chamber C becomes enlar ed and a suction is created in channel 40 and groove 41. This groove. now provides a buffer ring surrounding down on surface T.by this increased pressure incavity C .The ringSl is also forced-down on-surface T as air tends to enter the bore or passage 52-to overcome the suction under membrane 32-and disk-31. There now exists a plurality of I sealing rings around the cavity C. Membrane 32 is sealed at its-rim on surface T and on its exterior at the circular corner- 37. Rings 49-and 51 provide two additional air seals. Theflat bottom surface -of flange 27 on surface Tprovidesanother airseal. The
groove 41 provides the butter zone. If-air from the outside should tend. tocreep-or find its waypast the three sealing rings defined by flange '27, and rings 49 and 51, it must first neutralize or raise the pressure in groove 41 and chamber C before it can reach chamber C; where maximum suction exists. The weight of ball 23 and handle 22 keep the shaft 29 elevated with membrane tension as shown in Fig. 2. Ifdesirecl the handle 22 may be marked to indicate that the device is now under suction and adhering to surface T.
In Fig. 4 is shown-a'modification of theinventiori, in which a cylindrical pipe or sleeve '60 is'threaded to and supported on block 26; Shaft 29 is sealed to the-block by a packing ring 63. A circular sealing ring 62' is disposed at the base of the block-on surfac'eT.
The operation of the'device in'Fig. 4 is similar to 'that of Fig. 2. By turning handle 22, the shaft 29 is elevated and lowered asrequired to secure the device pneumatically to surface. Tand to release it as required. In this em- .ties. C C and C .secure the handle in any desired position. period of time air. should-enter cavity C to increase the bodiment, the exterior ring 62 is an additional sealing member.
In Fig. 7 the tube 49' is shown in an expanded condition and in Fig. 8, the tube 49' is shown in collapsed condition as it would be in groove 44 or 50 when placed under pressure. In Fig. 9 the tube 49 is shown pressed down mechanically by a rod 56 having a plate 57 at the end thereof. The rod 56 may be attached to shaft 29 or shaft 30 by suitable gearing not shown so that the plate 57 is pressed down on the tube 49 when the shaft 29 is elevated. If desired a spring 58 may be provided to assist in elevating the rod and plate when handle 22 is turned to lower membrane 32 and release the device from surface T. When rod 56 is provided it may be possible to omit bore 43, or if the rod is used in groove 50, then bore 52 may be omitted. In Fig. 5 the ring 49 is shown as a solid structure'as contrasted with the hollow formof ring 49 and the U-shape of ring 49.
In Fig. 10 is shown a pneumatic holding device in which the base block 26 has a cylindrical cavity into which open two valves 72 and 46, at opposite ends of thereof. A piston 73 is manually movable by a handle 74 inthe-cavity. Piston 73 divides the cavity into two spaces C and C A bore 76 leads from one endof cavity 70 into a lower recess or cavity C Bore 43 at the other end of the cavity leads into groove 44 in which is a sealing ring 49. In operation the handle 74- is initially fully inserted in cavity 70 reducing cavity C to substantially zero. All other cavities are at atmospheric pressure. When the handle is drawn out, a reduced pressure and suction develops in cavity C Air under pressure is expelled from valve 46 and the residual pressure in cavity forces ring 49 down on surface T to seal thegroove 44 to surface T. Screw 79 serves to If after a pressure therein, the screw may be released and the handle 74.drawn further out of the device to restore the original suction. Valve 72 serves as air pressure release member when the handle is initially fully inserted in cavity 70.
In Fig. 11 is shown a pneumatic holding device in which a rigid disk 80 is secured by rivets 81 to the upper wall of recess 38. A resilient membrane 82 is sealed to wall 36 in the block. The disk and membrane form cavi- A valve 83 is mounted on the block. and a bore 84 is provided with an opening into cavity C from the valve. Another valve 85 opens into cavity C A bore 43 leads through the block from cavity C to groove 44 at the base ofthe block. Resil- .ient' sealing ring 49 isdisposed in the groove. .52 extends from cavity C through the wall of the block A bore :shown)v may be connected to valve 85 to pump air into cavity C -and increase the pressure therein. A vacuum pump will be connected to valve 83 to draw air out of cavity C and establish asuction therein. The increased pressure in cavity C causes air pressure to increase on ring 49 to provide an air seal at the base of the block. If any air enters chamber C over a prolonged period of time, the suction may be restored by reapplication of Application of the air air should somehow leak out ofgroove 44. Since the membrane82 is uuder tension it will take considerable an extended period rofhtime.
1 membrane abuts the upper wallof recess 38. A bore 43 75 extends from the annular groove 44 through block 26 into cavityC A closed cavi ty C is formed between membrane 90 and the flat surface T. The membrane is tensioned so that it tends to straighten out and assume the dotted line position shown in Fig. 12B. Fig.
12A shows the initial position of the shaft 29 with atmospheric pressure in both chamber C and C When shaft 29 is lifted by any suitable means such as the mechanical arrangement of Fig. 2, the membrane unfolds partially enlarging cavit-y C and establishing a suction there, while cavity C is diminished increasing the pressure on ring 49 in-groove 44. Three sealing zones exist. The rim of'the membrane 90 abutting the surface T is one such zone. The contact of the side of the membrane with the corner 37 of recess 38 is another sealing zone, and ring 49 defines another sealingzone. Now if air tends to enter and increase the air pressure in chamber C the sidewall of membrane 90 will tend to straighten out and enlarge the chamber C so that the suction is restored and maintained, while pressure on ring 49 will be further increased because of an increase in pressure in chamber C due to its reduced size.
Instead of the eccentric element 30, a suitable gear train, system of levers or other mechanical arrangement may be used to elevate the shaft 29 on operation of the handle 22.
- The invention is not restricted to the particular examples described but may have any other of a variety of forms and modifications as defined by the scope of the appended claims.
What is claimed and sought to be protected by Letters Patent of the United States is:
1. A pneumatic holding device, comprising a block having a rigid fiat bottom surface for contacting a flat support, said block having a cylindrical cavity therein open at one end at the bottom of the block, said block having an endless groove open at the bottom of the block and surrounding said cavih a resilient ring retained in and sealing said groove against flow of air past the ring, said ring being normally spaced inwardly from the bottom of the block, said cavity having an undercut wall forming a cylindrical recess, a stifliy resilient membrane extending across the cavity and having its rim projecting into the recess and bearing on said wall, and means supporting said membrane in an unstressed condition away from the bottom of the block in said cavity to divide the cavity into upper and lower compartments, said block having a passage formed therein connecting said groove with the upper compartment, said means-being operative to stress said membrane and pivot said rim on said wall for enlarging the lower compartment while diminishing the upper compartment to effect a hermetic seal under suction of the lower compartment on said flat support, said ring being forced outwardly to press against said fiat support by pressure of air applied through said passage from the diminished upper compartment to provide a further hermetic seal on said support.
2. A pneumatic holding device according to claim 1 wherein said groove has sides inclined with respect to said bottom surface for retaining said ring in the groove.
3. A pneumatic holding device according to claim 2 wherein said ring is generally U-shaped in cross section with the bight of the ring exposed at the bottom of the block.
4. A pneumatic holding device according to claim 2, wherein said ring is a hollow tube.
5. A pneumatic holding device according to claim 2, wherein said ring is a solid torus.
6. A pneumatic holding device according to claim 1, further comprising a shell overlying said block and removably secured thereto, and tool holding means supported by said shell.
7. A pneumatic holding device, comprising a block having a rigid flat bottom surface for contacting a fiat support, said block having a cylindrical cavity therein open at the bottom of the block, said cavity having a wall undercut to'form a recess with an innercircular cor- .ne'r rim, said block having a plurality of grooves open atthe bottom of the block and surrounding said recess, a resilient ring disposed in and sealing each of said grooves against flow of air past the ring, each ring being normally spaced inwardly from the bottom of the block,
, a stifily resilient membrane extending across the cavity and. having its outer edge normally supported in said recess adjacent said rim, and means supporting said membrane in an unstressed condition away from the bottom of the block in said recess to divide the cavity into upper and lower compartments, said block having a first passage connecting one of said grooves with the upper compartment, said block having a second passage connecting the other of said grooves with the exterior of the block, said means being operative to stress said membrane for enlarging the lower compartment while diminishing the upper compartment, said outer edge of the membrane being pivotable by said means outwardly on said rim to efiect a hermetic seal under suction of the lower compartment on said fiat support, said rings being forced outwardly to press against said flat support by air pressure applied from the diminished upper compartment and by outside air pressure respectively to provide further hermetic seal on said support.
8. A pneumatic holding device, comprising a block having a rigid flat bottom surface for contacting a flat support, said block having a cylindrical cavity therein open at the bottom of the block, said cavity having a wall undercut to form a recess with an inner circular corner rim, said block having a plurality of grooves open at the bottom of the block and surrounding said recess, a pair of resilient rings retained respectively in two of said grooves and normally spaced inwardly from the bottom of the block, a stifily resilient membrane extending across the cavity and having its outer edge normally supported in said recess adjacent said rim to divide the cavity into first and second compartments, a flexible partition extending across the recess adjacent the membrane to form a wall of a third compartment in the recess, means supporting said membrane in an unstressed condition away from the bottom of the block in said recess, said block having three passages formed therein, a first one of the passages connecting one of said two grooves with the third compartment, a second one of said passages connecting the other of said two grooves with the exterior of the block, the third one of said passages connecting the second compartment with a third one of the grooves, said means being operative to stress said membrane and partition for enlarging the first compartment while diminishing the second and third compartments, said outer edge of the membrane being pivotable by said means outwardly on said rim to efiect a hermetic seal of the first compartment on said flat support, said rings normally sealing the rings against flow of air from said passages past the rings, said rings being forced outwardly to press against said fiat support by air pressure applied from the diminished third compartments and by outside air pressure respectively.
9. A pneumatic device according to claim 7, further comprising a valve connected to said block and opening into said third compartment, said valve providing a one way flow of air out of said third compartment to the exterior of the block.
10. A pneumatic holding device for a gauge, tool or the like, comprising a block having a rigid flat bottom surface for contacting a flat support, said block having a cylindrical cavity therein open at the bottom of the block, said cavity having a wall undercut to form a recess with an inner circular corner rim, said block having an endless groove open at the bottom of the block and surrounding said recess, a resilient ring retained in said groove and sealing the groove against flow of air past the ring, said ring being normally spaced inwardly from the bottom of the block, a stifiiy resilient membrane groove; with the upper compartment, and means operatively connected-to stress said membrane for enlarging "the lower compartment while diminishing the upper com- "partment, said outer edge of the membrane being pivotable outwardly on said cornerrirn to effect a hermetic seal under suction of the lower compartment on said flat support, said ring being forced outwardly to press against said-fiat support by pressure of air applied from the diminished upper compartment through said passage to effect a further seal on said support.
References *Gited in the file of this patent UNITED STATES PATENTS Baumeister APIQ24, 1883 Lang Dec. 28, 1886 -Seimang Oct. 11, 1887 Chapman Mar. 17, 1908 Cash Aug. 25, 1908 Toth Oct. 17, 1911 Waldron Aug. 22, 1922 Lebherz Jan. 12, 1932 Watson May' 26, 1936 MacChesney Feb. 21, 1939 Ebbs Feb. 16, 1943 Somma Sept. 19, 1950 Weisrnantel Aug. 28,- 1951 Shultz et a1. May 5, 1953 Udvardy Apr. 17, 1956 Lytle Dec. 3, 1957